The Heretic’s Comment: We found a great article from columnist Angelina Chapin providing strategies regarding turning page views into Album Sales. We highly recommend you read the entire article for yourself, but we have provided some of the article’s direct quotes for your convenience. The following is commentary centered around the band Arcade Fire’s you-tube video release entitled “The Wilderness Downtown“. Okay, enough setup, let’s check out the quotes:
“Last month, the band (Arcade Fire) released an online interactive video titled The Wilderness Downtown, a collaboration with Google and American music video director Chris Milk that uses the latest in HTML5 web technology to evoke the feeling of nostalgia expressed in the band’s song “We Used To Wait.” Viewers enter their childhood street address and the video takes them on a virtual tour of their old neighbourhood. Multiple browser windows simultaneously show close-ups of your street via Google Street View, footage of a man running, and an invitation to write a postcard to your childhood self.”
“When you see something like that, it’s an example of ‘Wow, I guess everything hasn’t been done yet,’” says Alan Cross, host of syndicated Canadian radio show The Ongoing History of New Music, adding he’s not a diehard Arcade Fire fan. “It changed my opinion of them, and I passed it on to everyone because I think it’s so damn cool.”
“With more than four million visitors to the site so far, the video has surely helped get attention for the band’s new album The Suburbs, which debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts prior to the video’s release. Sixty-two per cent of sales of The Suburbs have come from digital downloads, compared with half that number for their previous album. And though the band’s management declined to comment on whether there was a direct correlation between the online project and sales, Jordan says it’s not about the short sell anyway. “It’s key to super-serve your core audience,” he says. “By giving things for free, it creates a culture of support where fans don’t mind buying tickets for your show or your album because they know they’re getting more value.”
Adding value to a product or service strengthens your clients’ loyalty to your company, explains Nova Scotia-based new media and design consultant Brad Smith, but it has to be done in a way that makes them feel rewarded rather than accosted. Smith advises that his clients always give fans a little extra to help create a sense of exclusivity around a brand. “Social media is intimate,” he says. “When you leak details, it feels to fans that you’re leaking secrets.” For example, he encourages the varsity hockey teams he works with to leak shots of new features on their jerseys so fans can blog about it and create buzz.
We want to commend columnist Angelina Chapin again for putting together a very informative article. One of the things to pull away from reading this information is to always stay conscious of the need to reward your Fans with value in exchange for their association with your music. In terms of giving music away for free in order to build fan support, Unfortunately, we have witnessed numerous examples in our law practice where clients feel justified in thinking that free music means SONG REJECTS (music that I don’t want to release commercially). We have witnessed clients giving away free music consisting of poorly recorded songs as well as (in some cases) songs that are not even fully produced. This is a terrible mistake, because it doesn’t build value between your music and a possible Fanbase building around your music and brand. If you make the decision to give away music for free, then don’t give your potential Fans “SLOP“. In other words, Free should not mean SONG REJECTS. Instead, Free should be viewed as an opportunity to showcase quality material (yes, let us repeat…your commercial, high quality material), so that both established Fans as well as potential new Fans have a low risk way to fall in love with your music and brand.
One last time….never, ever, ever….shortchange your Fans!!! Give them quality with all that you do (and by consistently doing so) you maximize opportunities to turn page views into Album Sales, Merchandise Sales, Live Performance Sales, Sponsorship Sales, Endorsements Sales, Special Appearance Sales, etc…!!!!!! (you get the picture)
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